1. The question of law which has been referred to this Special Bench may be stated as follows:
When a Court of second appeal has remanded a case to the lower appellate Court under Order 41, Rule 23, Civil P.C. is the appellant entitled under Section 13, Court-fees Act, to a refund of the court-fee paid on the memorandum of appeal?
2. For the purpose of this reference we assume that the remand does not merely purport to have been made under Order 41, Rule 23, and that the remand was in fact made 'on any of the grounds mentioned' in Order 41, Rule 23. On this assumption the-appellant is clearly entitled to a refund; if it is held that the ' suit' has been remanded to the lower eppellate Court. The word 'suit' has not been defined for the purposes of the Court-fees. Act, 'nor is there any definition of that word in. the Code of Civil Procedure. The argument of the stamp reporter implies that a 'suit' terminates when the trial Court passes a decree and that further proceedings by way of appeal are not proceedings in the suit. On this view it is the appeal, and not the suit, which has been remanded to the lower appellate Court and consequently Section 13 does not in terms apply. We think that this view gives too narrow a meaning to the word 'suit' and that proceedings in appeal, may be regarded as proceedings in the suit. When an appeal is admitted against the trial Court's decree the suit becomes sub-judice again. The appellate Court's decree does no doubt decide the appeal, but it also decides the suit. The appellate Court frequently, in so many words, decrees the suit' or 'dismisses the suit' as the case may be. On this view the proceedings in first appeal and in second appeal are merely successive stages of the suit, and the suit does not terminate so long as any appeal is pending. There are indications in the Court-fees Act that the word 'suit' has been given a wide meaning and that an appeal is treated as a proceeding in a suit. In Schedule 2, Articles 4, 5 and 17, we find the expression 'memorandum of appeal in a suit.' The appeal may of course be a second appeal. So even a second appeal is spoken of as an appeal in a suit, implying that it is a proceeding in a suit.
3. Section 12(2) speaks of a suit coming before a Court of appeal. This also indicates that in the contemplation of the legislature the appellate Court deals with the suit, and that the appeal is only a proceeding in, or stage of, a suit. In Dayal Singh v. Ram Rikha  20 All. 362 it was expressly held by a Pull Bench of the Punjab Chief Court that in Sections 10(2) and 12 (2), Court-fees Act, the word 'suit' includes an appeal, so that the appeal of a defaulting appellant must be dismissed on his failure to make up the deficiency in court-fees when called on to do so. Our own Court has, by implication, taken a similar view in Narain Singh v. Chaturbhuj Singh (1898) 20 All. 362 in which it was held that:
if it were the appellant who was in fault and failed to pay the full court-fee due from him in the lower Court this Court certainly could stay the hearing of his appeal and, if the deficient fees were not paid, could dismiss his appeal, and no doubt would do so.
4. This decision was approved and followed in the Full Bench ruling Mohan Lal v. Nand Kishore  28 All. 270. There is therefore clear authority for the view, that in the Court-fees Act the word 'suit' can be given a wide meaning so as to include proceedings in appeal.
5. There is nothing in the subject or the context of Section 13 showing that the word 'suit' is to be understood in any specially restricted sense so as not to include a suit at the stage of first appeal. On the contrary it would be anomalous and unreasonable if the court-fee were re-fundable in the case of remand to the trial Court, and not refundable in the case of a remand to the lower appellate Court assuming of course that the requirements of Order 41, Rule 23, are strictly, fulfilled in each case. We hold that the 'suit' has been remanded, within the meaning of Section 13, Court-fees Act, and the court-fee is refundable if the remand has been made upon the ground mentioned in Order 41, Rule 23. Let this answer be laid before the Hon'ble Judge who made the reference.